Re: Wonks, to the Barricades!
Commenter “Mario” offers some substantive numbers on the number of people without health insurance at any one time in the US…
The CBO helpfully laid out the characteristics of the uninsured population in a paper last December (pg. 38).
CBO projects that among the uninsured in 2009, 17 percent will have family income above 300 percent of the poverty level (about $65,000 for a family of four); 18 percent will be eligible for but not enrolled in Medicaid; and 30 percent will be offered, but will decline, coverage from an employer. Some people will be in more than one of those categories at the same time—so overall, about half of the uninsured will meet at least one of those three criteria.
A census report (pg. 30) about the 2007 statistics show that 21% of the uninsured were foreign-born non-citizens (doesn’t necessarily mean illegal), 20% made over $75k (40% made over $50k, but that doesn’t control for family size), and about 17.5% were 18-24 (again, though, some could be all three).
I have seen people use 8 million as the “real” number of uninsured, but I can’t find anything to back that up. If you were to remove illegal aliens, the people that could buy it if they wanted, the people who could have government coverage if they were to apply, and the people who are only temporarily uninsured (which very much depends on your definition of temporary), my guess is that the number would be somewhere around 25 million.